Earthquakes in Congressional Races


Will this man be beaten by a real live rocket scientist???

Inquiring minds are looking at some incredible election news coming out of Arizona. As news of Barney Franks’ election troubles were still buzzing through political circles, the completely safe AZ-7 seat is in play for the Republicans:

Add Rep. Raul Grijalva to the growing list of Democratic worries this election season.

Party operatives say there’s increasing concern that the Arizona Democrat’s reelection bid could turn into a “sleeper” race for Republicans after Grijalva — responding to enactment of a tough new immigration law — called for an economic boycott of his own state amid a housing crisis and record unemployment.

Four Democratic sources from different parts of the country said that there is new attention to a race that was long considered in the bag.

And a recent poll, obtained by POLITICO, found that Grijalva and Republican challenger Ruth McClung, a real-life rocket scientist, were in a dead heat, even though Washington prognosticators have declared the deep-blue seat safely Democratic.

As they work to buttress their majority against a coming Republican storm, Democrats can ill afford to spend time or resources defending incumbents in seats where they should have a clear advantage. But the Grijalva seat potentially being in play is a sign of the increasingly expanding Republican playing field for the midterm elections.

This is an incredible example of the problem facing Democrats in this election cycle. If you are wondering what makes a deadheat race ‘news’, then just look at how ‘safe’ AZ-7 should be:

Southwestern Arizona’s sprawling House District 7, more than half of whose residents are Hispanic, stretches along 300 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border. It takes in Yuma, parts of Tucson and some Phoenix suburbs.

There are nearly twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans in the district[SC.com editor’s bolding]. In 2008, Grijalva, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, routed GOP challenger Joseph Sweeney 63 percent to 33 percent.

It is interesting that the Field Polls (notoriously left-leaning) that have been comikng out of California continually shows those US Senate and Gubernatorial races ‘close’. Generally the polls have been very wrong by underestimating the strength of Republican candidates.

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